A Totota dealership is seen in Annapolis, Maryland on May 27, 2021, as many car dealerships across the country are running low on new vehicles as a computer chip shortage has caused production at many vehicle manufactures to nearly stop.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images
DETROIT – Sales of new vehicles in the U.S. remain healthy but are showing signs of a slowdown amid concerns about inflation and a global shortage of semiconductor chips that continues to depress auto production and dealer inventory levels.
Analysts estimate automakers sold about 4.5 million vehicles in the U.S. in the second quarter — a 52% to 53% increase compared with a year ago when the coronavirus pandemic caused Americans to shelter in place and temporarily closed auto dealerships. Most major automakers report June and second-quarter sales data on Thursday, except for Ford, which is expected to release its results Friday.
While the sales recovery from the depths of the pandemic is impressive, the pace of sales this year is slowing. Deutsche Bank analyst Emmanuel Rosner expects June’s sales pace to be 15.7 million vehicles, down from 17.1 million vehicles in May and 18.6 million vehicles in April.
The sales pace for any given month measures how many cars the industry would sell for the year if it sold the same amount every month. It’s a main barometer of the industry’s health and consumer demand.
“The sales slow-down likely reflects a lack of availability on dealer lots rather than a decline in consumer demand as automakers struggle to replenish dealer inventories with top models, particularly SUVs and pickup trucks,” Rosner wrote in an investor note.
Sales for every major automaker are expected to be up double digits during the second quarter compared with the same time a year ago, according auto research firms Cox Automotive and Edmunds. But they’re only slightly above the second quarter of 2019.
Something not showing signs of slowing down is sales prices of new vehicles due to tight supplies from the global chip shortage and stronger-than-expected consumer demand throughout the Covid pandemic.
The average transaction price for a new vehicle in June is expected to reach a record $40,206, according to J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. The previous high for any month, $38,539, was set in May, according to the companies.
The higher pricing has led to higher profits for automakers and retailers but has stoked broader concerns about inflation. Consumer spending on new vehicles is expected to reach a second-quarter record of $149.7 billion, up 60.7% from 2020 and up 27.9% from 2019.
“Despite inventory shortages constraining the volume of vehicles sold to consumers, the underlying strength of consumer demand is clear. Consumers are buying more expensive vehicles despite smaller discounts, which is dramatically increasing the profitability of those sales for both manufacturers and retailers,” said Thomas King, president of the data and analytics division at J.D. Power, in a statement.
– CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.
Can philosophers help improve transportation policy? Jonathan Badgley, an economist who works with the US Department of Transportation (US DOT) and who studied philosophy as an undergraduate, thinks so.
US DOT is currently seeking public comment on methods for identifying valid and reliable aggregate data to help measure equity in order to improve Federal transportation programs. There are 25 specific questions that the agency is seeking public comment on, and while many of these questions relate to issues outside of philosophers’ purview (e.g., data sources, etc.) there are a number of normative-laded questions that I believe are critical for the agency to hear from philosophers on. For instance, here are two questions from the request:
(6) Housing affordability in the United States is measured in terms of percentage of income (i.e., the current threshold is 30 percent of income). Is there a similar threshold for “transportation affordability” currently in use by planning practitioners and planning agencies? What are some methods and strategies that the Department can use for determining and assessing the level of a transportation overburden cost standard?
(7) How should the Department identify and measure the benefits and drawbacks (e.g., safety, wellbeing, and mobility benefits) of Federal transportation investments to underserved communities? How should the Department identify and measure the social cost of inequity in transportation projects or policies in underserved communities?
Again, the framing of these questions is around data and methods questions, but at heart are issues of what equity means in the transportation context that have not been directly and sufficiently addressed (by transportation folks or by philosophers in publication, at least that I’m aware of).
The request is a great opportunity for philosophers to significantly contribute to a real world issue, the fair and equitable provision of transportation goods, by clarifying these normative concepts of fairness, equity, welfare, etc. in this context.
You can view all of the questions here and provide a comment by clicking on the green “Submit a Formal Comment” button near the top of the document.
Portland police have released more information about Thursday night’s fatal officer-involved shooting and the events that followed when a mob of protesters took to the city’s streets, where some flattened tires and broke windows on at least one police car in the area, authorities said.
Details of any protest-related arrests were not available as of early Friday morning, but authorities overnight shared images of a police car that had its tires flattened and windows shattered by what they described as a “hostile crowd.”
In an updated summary of events, the Portland Police Bureau said early Friday its officers were dispatched just after 7 p.m. Thursday to conduct a welfare check on “a white adult male dressed in all black at a motel.” Police did not provide any other information about what led to the shooting other than to say: “After officers arrived with paramedics, they encountered a man matching that description and an officer involved shooting took place.”
MOB GATHERS IN PORTLAND AFTER DEADLY OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING; SOME THROW ITEMS AT OFFICERS
Chief Chuck Lovell said preliminary information suggested the officer “encountered a very difficult and dynamic situation that no officer wants to face.”
WASHINGTON, OREGON IN FOR HISTORIC, DANGEROUS HEAT WAVE
Police will announce the name of the officer involved in the shooting, who has been placed on paid leave pending an investigation, at some time on Friday, they said.
The demonstrators gathered as police were investigating the shooting. Police said some protesters threw objects and one person grabbed an officer’s baton. An officer was sprayed with an unspecified chemical substance.
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The police bureau said in a tweet that there was “erroneous information being circulated on social media” regarding the shooting, and said the suspect involved in the shooting was a White adult man. Police said no one else was hurt.
Fox News’ Brie Stimson contributed to this report.
The RadRunner Plus from Rad Power Bikes is perhaps one of my favorite all-time, do-anything electric bicycles – and that’s coming from someone with hundreds of electric bike reviews under his belt. I may have ridden some e-bikes that go faster or carry more passengers or fulfill any number of specific niches. But if I had to choose one single e-bike that could handle as many different daily tasks and types of riding as possible, I think it would be the RadRunner Plus.
One of my favorite aspects of electric bicycles is that they have helped usher in a new age of revolutionary design.
With the assistance of an efficient electric motor, e-bikes don’t suffer from the same design constraints as pedal bikes.
That has opened to door to interesting designs that specialize in all aspects of transportation and recreation. And the RadRunner Plus is one of the best examples of that design freedom we’ve seen yet in the industry.
To watch this awesome e-bike in action, check out my video review below. Then keep reading for all of the details on this fun little e-bike that can do just about anything.
RadRunner Plus video review
Rad Power Bikes RadRunner Plus tech specs
Motor: 750W rear geared hub motor
Top speed: 32 km/h (20 mph)
Range: 45-72 km (25-45 mi) depending on user input
Battery: 48V 14Ah (672 Wh)
Weight: 33.7 kg (74.3 lb)
Max load: 140 kg (300 lb)
Rear rack max load: 55 kg (120 lb)
Brakes: Tektro mechanical disc brakes
Extras: sturdy center kickstand, LCD display with complete data readout, included head/tail/brake LED lights, bell, 5 pedal assist settings, half-twist throttle, passenger package, fenders, suspension fork, 7-speed Shimano drivetrain, wide range of accessory add-ons
Built on good bones
The RadRunner Plus e-bike builds upon the classic RadRunner design that first debuted in 2019, yet adds a number of upgraded features for even more utility than ever before.
When Rad Power Bikes first rolled out the original RadRunner e-bike, I was in love. The awesome little moped-style utility bike took the cargo and passenger features of the RadWagon e-bike and combined them with the smaller format of Rad’s folding e-bikes. There were only a few small areas where I saw room for improvement in the original RadRunner design, and apparently Rad Power Bikes had the exact same train of thought as I did, because they hit the nail on the head with each of the upgrades on the RadRunner Plus.
So in addition to everything you get with a base model RadRunner, you also get an upgraded LCD display, larger headlight, front suspension, fenders, 7-speed Shimano drivetrain and the rear passenger kit including the padded seat, foot pegs, and wheel cover (that clear plastic shield to protect passengers from touching the rear wheel).
Each of these is a huge upgrade that makes the RadRunner Plus such a potent e-bike for nearly every use case. To put it simply: If there’s something that needs doing, the RadRunner